Cincy Science: With music festival season upon us, we wondered why little kids just gotta dance

CINCINNATI - Ever ask, "What is that?" Or, "Why is that?" In our "Cincy Science" feature, we talk with people who can answer those questions: The folks who do science in Cincinnati and the Tri-State.

The minute music cranks up, kids and toddlers alike start grooving to the beat. Even before many youngsters can walk or talk, they already know how to shake their diaper-clad booties.

WATCH: Remember the viral video of a baby dancing to "Single Ladies?"

So is our reaction to music innate? To find out why we're so moved or feel the need to move to music, we contacted Michael O'Hearn, clinical director, Center for Stress Related Disorders at the Lindner Center of Hope. O'Hearn has conducted extensive research into the connection between music and brain chemistry.

How do our brains process music?

The brain learns music differently than most other kinds of learning. Music is so significant because it affects the part of the brain that learns. If a kid learns math, only one part of the brain learns math. With music, it actually affects several different abilities at the same time, and the brain learns to integrate several learning experiences in one overall learning experience.

This is why music education and participation enhances visual-spatial, verbal, motor, and reading skills. Music exercises the part of the brain that learns, so learning in general is easier, and confidence is reinforced.

WCPO Insiders can read the full Q&A and learn if we are really born to boogie. Plus, Prof. O'Hearn explains how music helps us learn and can even help people with ADHD. 

To continue reading: Subscribe Now or